Short course workflow checklist
The articles on the partner support site will explain each of the stages of FutureLearn short course production in more detail. You can find a summary of each stage and their associated deadlines below.
There are five key steps in the course creation process:
1. Proposing your course
Deadline: minimum 8 weeks before the course start date
Submit your course proposal via the Course Proposals section in Course Creator. This can be found on the ‘Overview’ tab for your organisation. Please note only Organisation admins have permission to submit course proposals.
Once we receive your proposal a Course Development Manager will be assigned to work on your course. They will review the proposal and create the course shell in Course Creator. Read about the next steps after submitting your proposal in more detail here.
Please inform your Course Development Manager as far in advance as possible if you are unable to meet any of the deadlines below.
2. Planning your course
Deadline: minimum 8-6 weeks before the course start date
- Complete week-by-week course outline - this is optional, but recommended.
- Provide sample course content for feedback - share this with your Course Development Manager. If you plan to include videos in your course please send an example, with branding. Read our brand guidelines here.
- Tell your Course Development Manager if you plan to:
- Tell your Partnership Manager if you plan to:
- Use our Lead Generation tool to promote your own programmes or services
- Generate your own marketing campaign for the course
Your Course Development Manager will use your sample content and course outline to provide feedback. Issues can be easier to fix early in course production, when changes are more easily made.
3. Opening your course for enrolment
Deadline: minimum 5 weeks before the course start date
You will need to add the following to Course Creator to prepare your course page and open your course for enrolments:
- Course building team – Select the ‘Team’ tab in Course Creator to assign roles and permissions.
- Course educators – Add up to four educators via the ‘Course Educators’ button located in the ‘Details’ tab within the course run. Ensure these educators include a biography and picture on their FutureLearn profile.
- Learning Outcomes – From the ‘Details’ tab in the course run select the ‘Learning Outcomes’ button. Each outcome must start with a verb.
- Syllabus – In the ‘Edit course run’ area provide a list of short bullet points outlining the key themes that this course covered. This will appear on the course description page and the Certificate of Achievement transcript.
- Certificate submitted – You must draft and submit the Certificate of Achievement before the course can be opened for enrolments. Only team members with Organisation Admin can submit this. Details on how to submit this are here.
- Optional) Course trailer – Upload a trailer in the ‘Details’ tab via the ‘Trailer’ button. Subtitles must be uploaded with a .VTT file.
- (Optional) Collaborator logos and description – Submit any logos in vector format (.AI, .EPS or .SVG) to email@example.com including a description of the organisation, max 200 characters including spaces.
Your Course Development Manager can advise you on these tasks. Note that some require ‘Organisation admin’ permission. Ask your Course Development Manager for help if you need access, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Propose an eye-catching course title and description for your course page on FutureLearn (the ‘Course Description Page’)
- Propose a selection of course page images based on your proposal, unless you specify in the proposal that you will supply an image.
- Set the price of the course, notifying the project lead, who will also receive an email notification when this is done.
- Share a draft of the course description page for your approval before publishing.
4. Building your course
Deadline: ready to submit for Quality Assurance at least 4 weeks before start date
- Build your course in Course Creator following our pedagogy and learning design and course criteria.
- Enter and submit certificate information including signatures. This is required for the Certificate of Achievement and can only be completed by Organisation Admins.
- Review your course against the Course Criteria.
- When you and your colleagues have finished compiling the course, your Course Development Manager will run the Quality Assurance (QA) checks. You’ll get feedback on the course’s structure, coherence, learning design and media quality.
5. Amending and finalising your course
Deadline: 1 week before your course start date
- Make changes based on FutureLearn feedback – Make a note of any changes in the Quality Assurance document, query any unclear comments.
- Review any open or highlight steps - Open steps are visible to web searches and highlight steps can be viewed by anyone who lands on the Course Description Page under the ‘Try It’ section.
- Submit a ‘one week to go’ additional email and weekly course emails – Weekly emails must be submitted by the end of Thursday prior to its send date (always a Monday).
- Customise your welcome area – This is a space for learners who have enrolled on a course to comment, access any advance reading material and meet fellow learners before the course begins. Get in touch with email@example.com to edit the title (max 50 characters), description (max 100 characters) and/or links.
FutureLearn will review the changes made. In most cases the course will be ready to start on the scheduled date. In rare cases where the course needs significant amendment, FutureLearn may delay the course start date.
Proposal and timelines: how to submit proposals and timelines for new courses
Course Outline Guide: useful templates, examples of course outlines and tips from the Learning Design team
Planning: how to plan your course, collaboration and scheduling
Opening for enrolment: preparing your course to publish for learner enrolment
Building your course: how to build your course using the Course Creator tool